Central Notes: Kluber, Cardinals, Manaea

Corey Kluber of the Indians has pitched like an ace this season, August Fagerstrom of Fangraphs writes. Fagerstrom notes that, since the beginning of 2013, Kluber’s pitching has compared favorably to that of David Price, and while Price appears likely to land a nine-figure contract in the 2015-16 offseason, Kluber remains relatively obscure. In ten starts, Kluber has produced 2.2 fWAR, behind only Felix Hernandez among all pitchers in baseball. Kluber has a 3.43 ERA so far, but with peripheral numbers that are better, with 10.1 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9. Kluber’s excellent cut fastball has been the key to his emergence, Fagerstrom writes. Here are more notes from the Central divisions.

  • Given their outfield depth, the Cardinals are in good position to make trades, Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. Miklasz cites a scout who suggests that if the Cardinals do try to make a big move, it will likely be for a third strong starting pitcher to complement Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha.
  • The Royals‘ gamble on Sean Manaea in the 2013 draft is paying off, Alan Eskew of Baseball America writes. Manaea fell to the Royals at No. 34 overall as other teams passed on him due to injury concerns. He now has a 5.40 ERA with Class A+ Wilmington, but with 3.7 BB/9 an an outstanding 13.6 K/9. Manaea has been pitching at 92-93 MPH, ranging up to 96 MPH, and the Royals have him working on his secondary pitches and on consistency in his delivery.

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